Cream Dylan

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Dylan Bundy @ TEX (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs31% CSW, 84 pitches.

I figured it would be best to talk first about the ridiculous thing that happened – Dylan Bundy had himself a night as he went 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches against the Rangers. It was the cream of the crop for Bundy outings and I’m sure some will wonder if this is the beginning of a legit turnaround.

It’s not. His fastball hovered 90 mph (not 91/92), his slider earned 1/13 whiffs, his curveball earned some called strikes, but stealing three strikes with hooks is not a gamechanger. Look, he threw a lot of strikes, the Rangers took their bats and spun the wheel of BABIP to plenty of failures (can you blame them? There’s not much left there) and that’s all there was to it. No, I would not consider Bundy moving forward because of this. We need to see a better slider and a harder fastball. That simple. Sorry for being so harsh, but sometimes y’all need it straight. Like his fastball. It’s so straight.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Ross Stripling vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ahhhh the secondaries returned! His changeup earned 8/22 whiffs, his slider + curveball earned 5/31 whiffs, and the heater could relax and earn 10 called strikes. Now that’s a Stripling I can get behind. We saw this before, though, where Ross had the repertoire firing on all cylinders before they evaded him the following outing. The Angels could see this strong mix and struggle, or they could get the heater-focused approach and have plenty of opportunities to shellack. We’ll see and at the very least, if this is a legit change, he’s gotta start somewhere.

Rich Hill @ MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

I can’t say I expected this one, especially with Hill’s fastball returning 41% CSW as it earned seven whiffs along the way. Even more shocking was the 9% CSW on 32 curveballs. Wild. I think this was a best-case scenario for Hill (it’s the Marlins) and I really wouldn’t trust this moving forward. But Nick, it’s the Nationals without Turner and Schwarber! Nope, not doing it.

Tarik Skubal vs BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 91 pitches.

I didn’t expect Skubal to succeed against the Red Sox and to be honest, his repertoire sure didn’t speak to it, either. He didn’t earn a single whiff on his slider or changeup (0/31!) and I’m a bit worried about what the second half holds as he’s lost the improvement we saw earlier in the year. His fastball was well spotted in the upper third of the zone, though, and it makes me confident Skubal can be a legit arm once the secondaries return. We could be waiting until 2022, though. He gets the Orioles next and I’m tempted to slot him in the “Questionable Start” tier.

Merrill Kelly vs SF (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.

I’m flat out amazed at how Mr. Agreeable MK has found a way to be a sturdy Toby during the summer. Cutters were everything in this one and he mixed and matched them with four-seamers for a ton of outs and hey, maybe he can do it again in a repeat matchup versus the Giants. It’s that kind of season for Kelly.

Braxton Garrett vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yessss, well done Garrett. Streaming Record: 68-49. Sure the 1.80 WHIP isn’t pretty, but he was able to overcome a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the first and cruised for five clean innings after. I still dislike how he tosses sub 90 mph, but the curveball and slider earned some whiffs and we even earned eight on fastballs alone and there may be something to that. Sadly, it’s the Padres next so let’s just forget about this for now.

Daniel Lynch @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! A Gallows Pole?! From Lynch?! His slider finally came out of the Woodford woodwork with 12/33 whiffs as his four-seamer and sinker were able to live inside the zone effectively. For the most part. I wish we saw the changeup act a bit better, but Lynch recognized the vicious sweeper early and leaned on it over 1/3 of the time as a result. Can’t blame the man. The challenges keep coming, though, as he has to face the Yankees next and I’d still be slightly worried – we haven’t seen him have this kind of slider success yet all season. Who knows if it’ll stick. The ceiling should be clear now, though, and I’m all for a speculative add, even if you don’t start him.

Griffin Jax @ HOU (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 75 pitches.

I’m happy for the kid, I truly am, but not a single strikeout in sixteen outs?! HAISTBMBWT?! Y’all know this isn’t the young arm to chase.

Dallas Keuchel vs KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

Keuchel had his standard pitch separation, though his sliders were kinda wack and sinkers fell a bit too far off the plate. But whatever, this whole thing helps (sorry for the L, though) and trusting owners should be very pleased. I’d be cautious pressing my luck against the Twins next week, though.

Touki Toussaint @ STL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ayyyy Touki survived and followed “The Cardinal Rule”! His curveball was far from elite, though, and I’d be awfully worried about that next start against the Reds. Don’t do that.

Nestor Cortes vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hey, I’ll take this from Nestor as he tossed effective curveballs and sliders to power through five frames. I wouldn’t consider him in the lightest for 12-teamers and he should get one more shot with Cole and JorMont likely out for one more turn of the rotation. It’s the Royals and it’s not the worst desperate play, but I won’t recommend it. Like a hobbit hole, the ceiling is too dang low.

Tyler Anderson @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

I’m glad to see Tyler look like a proper Toby against the Yankees, which makes us feel plenty better about starting him against Texas next time out. Now there’s a stream worthy of Anderson.

Wade LeBlanc vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 85 pitches.

LeBlanc did LeBlanc things, somehow earning solid ratios despite fanning just one batter in six frames. HAISTBMBWT?! I don’t care if he’s facing the Pirates next, I wouldn’t chase it for this good but not stellar ratio upside.

Wil Crowe @ CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Yeaaaah, it was just the changeup working here as the slider wasn’t getting bites. Maybe one day he’ll have them both dominating at Wil. One day.

Martín Pérez @ DET (L) – 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 37 pitches.

Yikes. The Tigers jumped on Pérez early and that was that. No cheap Win here and you’re suddenly wondering why you ever considered him. Don’t look at me, I had him “Do Not Start” territory.

Spencer Howard vs LAA (L) – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 45 pitches.

I’m glad the Rangers are welcoming Howard into the rotation and it looks like they’re pushing a cutter on him. Interesting. He still threw 51% heaters across just 45 pitches and we’re not going near this for a good while. The man is a Young Gun, alright.

Triston McKenzie @ TOR (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

Was it the BSBNah. Did he have his best breakers? Nope. Was he throwing hard? H*ck yeah. We’re talking 93.3 mph, 1.5 ticks higher than what we normally see and it allowed Triston to survive a terrifying Jays lineup. I wish I saw a better approach than “I’m gonna throw hard and good luck” and it makes me a bit worried for the Athletics next time out. I love that new velocity, though. Just make the other stuff better and you’re golden.

Joe Ross vs PHI (ND) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

Look at that, Ross earned another award with a King Cole against the Phillies. The slider earned strikes, the sinker earned outs and called strikes, and…oh right. No golden rule of three here, just those two doing their best. He’ll get the Mets next and that should be alright. Nothing incredible, but acceptable.

Jake Arrieta @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 59 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Arrieta. Cool. Cool cool cool. Annnnnd you’ve already forgotten about this start.

Framber Valdez vs MIN (L) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.

Blegh. It was a rough second frame and that was all she wrote as Framber settled down nicely after. He has it in him to be better than the current trend, and I think those 3rd-7th frames tell that story well. I think he’ll show it against Rockie Road next week.

Sonny Gray vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

Wait what. Gray, you rebounded last time out and this was the Pirates. This was supposed to be way better. How dare you get Singled Out in the fifth with two infield singles. That wasn’t the plan. You better have your A-Game against Atlanta next. I know it’s in there and this was just bad luck, but I need the receipts.

Antonio Senzatela vs CHC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 75 pitches.

This was a poor Cubs offense, but it’s Senz-A and it’s Coors. Name a more unappealing duo.

Alex Wood @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

Say what now. Wood had decent velocity and a ton of slider whiffs, but he was too hittable at times and lost a few batters and it just didn’t go his way. Blegh. I’d stick with him, though, the skills are there. Trust the skills. They pay mad billz.

Aaron Nola @ WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ugh. Nola had to turn to his curveball a bit too much, leading to a few hangers and the Nationals were efficient to score five. I still believe Nola is very worth your time, but I just want him to soar into the October horizon, all our 2021 worries far behind. Come on Nola, you can do this.


Game of the Day 

Sandy Alcántara vs. Germán Márquez – I would love to watch Sandy excel in Coors + Germán have his slider and not care about his home park. Sidenote: this may be the most á you’ll find in any matchup all year.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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